The History of Embroidery

At Burt’s, we don’t just do screen printing. We also specialize in embroidery for hats, jackets, t-shirts, and more. A few months ago, we investigated the history of screen printing, so this month we decided to do a little research on embroidery. Just how did it go from ancient pieces of artwork to your t-shirt embroidered in Fort Collins?

As it turns out, embroidery had many different uses and techniques depending on where in the world you were located. Regardless of location, however, it’s an art that has stood the test of time for centuries. Embroidery used for art was found in China dating back to the 5th century BC. It’s believed that most needlework art originated in the middle east. Stitching could be used to reinforce fabrics, join fabrics together, or add decoration to pieces.

During the 12th century, people began sewing on other decorations within the stitching. This included pearls, beads, and precious stones. These pieces were mainly used to decorate religious items. By 1500 AD, these embroideries became more and more intricate. By the 1700s, they could even be found on furniture.

Because embroidery takes time and was so elaborate, it was often a symbol of wealth in many cultures including Persia, India, China, Japan, and Baroque Europe. Finally, embroidery machines emerged in Switzerland in the 19th century, making it much easier to create.

Today, embroidery is still a very much practiced art. There are computerized embroidery machines that can make elaborate patterns and depictions. It’s also used in the same way we do it at Burt’s – to add logos or monograms to shirts, jackets, hats, bags, and more.

If you’re interested in having company apparel embroidered, please see our products page to browse options.  We’ve been in Fort Collins doing custom screen printing and embroidery for over 35 years, and we’d love to chat with you today about what you’re looking for!

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